Everyone has a bad day every once in awhile, but fortunately for most, they can forget about them easily enough. If you’re a Major League baseball player, it’s not so simple. Your bad days are in the record books for good, and there are plenty of people like yours truly to scour those books. Evaluating statistical excellence is like watching an Oscar-winning social commentary, but finding the worst of the worst is like the gory slasher. Nobody confuses it with something of substance, but we can’t look away nevertheless. This is the story of a handful of pitchers who are not too different from the victims of a violent movie. Continue reading
Category Archives: Career Records
2011 is the first season in 26 years without Jamie Moyer in professional baseball. He is currently rehabbing from Tommy John surgery, enjoying a seat on ESPN’s Baseball Tonight in the meantime. His contract with the Phillies expired, so while he is working towards a comeback for his age-49 season in 2012, he is not currently employed by any team. When baseball lost Jamie, it didn’t just lose its grandfather. It lost its only 200-game winner. Continue reading
Opening Day 2011 had a few noteworthy events, one of which I wrote about here. Another was Jason Heyward’s homerific first day. Heyward became just the second person in history to hit a home run in his first at-bat of each of his first two seasons. He made more of a splash last year when he homered in his first career at-bat as a much-heralded prospect, but this is the one that put him in the record book. He’s now there right behind the man well-known for hitting home runs to start each of his first three seasons: Kazuo Matsui, of course! I heard a little bit about that on various broadcasts. Also, as I switched between broadcasts of 4 different games, I heard each team have a trivia question about who is their franchise leader in Opening Day home runs. One franchise, the Reds, had both of the all-time Opening Day home run leaders on their team: Ken Griffey, Jr. and Frank Robinson are tied at 8. However, that got me thinking, who holds some of the other career records for Opening Day stats?
The pitcher’s best friend is a twin killer. It sounds like the opening statement of a court case, but it also opens any discussion about the double play. It can be a life-saver for a pitcher in trouble and a thing of beauty to watch, but for some reason, it goes relatively unwatched as a statistic. Even the OPS+ enthusiasts, VORP prognosticators, and UZR/150 hawks let the GIDP maintain an under-the-radar existence. Continue reading